The Path Unchosen

The Path Unchosen

Because today I write in sorrow, my sadness is all the greater that I did not spend more time celebrating with you all that was wonderful in my world. So I will start there.  Last fall shortly after starting school, we began wrestling.  Wrestling with what Elena’s best days looked like.  What provided her the most value and what we could do to help her light shine to the best of all abilities.  And since we saw illness as a major obstacle that caused her to miss a significant amount of school time and then therapy time, and since she had back to back pneumonias the first few weeks into school, we decided to pursue a schedule that increased therapies and offered Elena school at home through google classroom.

This has been one of the most beneficial decisions that we have ever made for Elena.  I would love to be able to take credit for it but that would not be appropriate.  This was an amazing collaboration from the school district, an idea from Elena’s caseworker and an answer to prayer.

Dear Lord, Help us find the right environment for Elena to thrive and for the world to see all that is within her.  To you be all the glory.

Sometimes, it really is that easy. When the answers to our prayers come, all we have to do is reap the sweet rewards of His blessings that are so freely lavished on us.  We might not be sure of how things will work out, but the path seems bright and promising. The path is open and free from obstruction. You can see all of the rewards clearly, maybe you can even see the end and all of its benefits.  We said yes.IMG_3609

Elena thrived these last few months.  She was healthy.  She fought off colds.  She had more intentional school/therapy time in the last few months than in the last years. She was free from pneumonia for 5 months!!!!

We had no idea that it would be this good.

But sometimes, it is not easy at all. Sometimes when the path appears you are certain that it goes to somewhere you didn’t want to go.  The path might be dark, and you are unsure of what the other end looks like because there are so many abrupt turns.  You can see that this path is going to cause you pain.  The thick and thorny brush that is overgrown on the sides is sure to leave a mark.  There is no way that you can go through this unscathed.

But this is the path that was given.

This path might be marked with words that evoke your greatest fears.  Words that take you places that you never want to go.  Maybe because of the unknown. Maybe because of what you have experienced or watched others go through.  This path will hurt.

But this is the path that was given.  You were not given a choice.

So you say yes.

But on this path because it is dark and you are frightened you cry out to God.  You walk on in faith. You are beat up and bloodied from fighting though the thorny bushes of your greatest fears.   They try to pull you in and trap you holding you captive unable to move on.  You feel as if you have no strength to go on.  And so you cry out to God.

Before you know it you can see the light.  The path is beginning to clear.  You have emerged with some new scars, your face is dirty and stained with tears.  But as you look back at all that you just went through, with an overwhelming joy at all that has been overcome, you cry out,

“I had no idea that HE was this good.”

IMG_3612It has been through some of the darkest times that I have found the sweetest intimacy with my Father in heaven.  May your greatest trials and your unchosen path be the source of your greatest blessing. May you find great privilege in the walk He has called you to. Let your cry of your heart be a hymn of praise as you realize just how deep and far and wide His unending love it for you.

He leads me down paths of righteousness for his names sake.  Psalm 23:3

Please pray for my sweet girl, she does have pneumonia but we are praying and trusting God for her quick healing.









Just far enough

Just far enough

I can hardly believe school is starting tomorrow. This year I have three in school with my oldest, Blake, starting middle school, Elena will be in 4th grade and Evelyn will be starting 4K. Truett will get to enjoy some one on one mommy time.

We brought Elena in to meet her teacher the other day and as we walked down the hall she was just beaming. Her face lit up the entire time we were there. She loves school!

Elena splits her time in the special ed and 4th grade classroom about 50/50. When she is at school the kids love her. Many of them who have been with her for years understand how she communicates and patiently wait for her eyebrow raise for yes. They have to put their names in a bin and draw one name to be Elena’s helper for the day so that everyone gets a turn. Other wise it was hard on Elena to choose. Often a few little girls choose to stay in on recess to read or play with Elena. They see Elena like we do. The compassion and care they show often brings me to tears.

Can you believe that there was a time that we didn’t feel that school was a best option for Elena? Her health is too compromised. She gets sick so easy. Every cold leads to pneumonia. She’ll be exposed to germs. Kids can be mean. Will she even benefit from being there?

All of these fears are out there and very real. But the benefit of seeing my sweet girl light up being around her classmates far out weighs all of those worries. The joy that I feel knowing that there is a group of students who don’t fear others who look different and know that all because you are non verbal doesn’t mean you have nothing to offer is priceless. May their hearts never change.

I am so grateful for her teachers and therapists that held our hand every step of the way. Continually pushing us just slightly out of our comfort zones. Seeing the things that we could not. Believing and striving for things that we had no idea were possible.

So to every teacher or therapist or paraprofessional who has ever believed in what appeared to be impossible–Thank You! Thank you for pushing us just far enough. Thank you for valuing my input and role as a parent. And thank you for seeing my child for all that they are and more!

Know that you are valued and that I have and will be praying for you this year. Please continue to expect great things!